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Research alerts to the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women who had Covid-19

Publicado em 18 agosto 2021

In more severe cases, the condition can cause the arteries to rupture, leading to a stroke.

A pre eclampsia it is a complication of pregnancy caused by an exaggerated increase in blood pressure. In more severe cases, eclampsia can cause the arteries to rupture, leading to a Stroke. A study recently published in the journal Clinical Science draws attention to the increased risk of pre-eclampsia for pregnant women who contract Covid-19. The research is the result of a collaboration between Universities in Canada and FAPESP. Three Brazilians sign the study. Mariane Bertagnolli tells how it was possible to establish a relationship between the two.

“It also began to appear in clinical and population data that we saw what we call a syndrome very similar to pre-eclampsia, showing that perhaps Covid-19 activated mechanisms that were very similar with the pathology. That’s why we were interested in studying that maybe the link to all this is ek2.” Researcher Nayara Cruz explains that ek2 is the protein that serves as the entrance to Covid-19 in the human cell. This same protein is also responsible for the formation of the baby’s placenta. Changes in the placenta can lead to complications such as pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction.

“From a physiological point of view, knowing that the virus interacts with this protein, we believe that part of these effects of Covid-19 during pregnancy are due to this interaction”, he says. The published article was the first of the survey that still wants to bring many answers. At this stage, the scientists collect placentas from women with Covid-19 and without Covid-19 to analyze differences. The coordinator here in Brazil, Dulce Casarini, highlights the importance of this type of research. According to her, the world is committed to reducing maternal mortality rates. Rates in Brazil are worrying.

“Brazil is the country with the highest death rate for pregnant women in the world. Brazil is the first country in the death of pregnant women. There was such an exacerbated increase that it caught the attention of even international health agencies. We have to pay close attention to this in Brazil.” The gynecologist and obstetrician Alexandre Pupo Nogueira, who works in two of the largest private hospitals in São Paulo, says he had cases of pregnant patients with Covid-19 and pre-eclampsia. One of them very delicate, but with a positive outcome. The physician warns of extra care in relation to pregnant women infected with coronavirus.

“The doctor should not underestimate these symptoms. He must be very attentive, I think the early diagnosis of Covid-19 infection is essential because, from then on, you can start a segment closer to this pregnant woman. The use of laboratory tests to assess how Covid-19 is developing the body’s inflammatory condition. And, in the face of any change in the scenario, quickly intervene.” In Brazil, the Ministry of Health’s guidance regarding Covid-19 immunization for pregnant women is to vaccinate pregnant women with comorbidities with Pfizer or CoronaVac vaccines.

*With information from reporter Carolina Abelin

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